Musicians play instruments made from farm tools

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Professional musicians play instruments made from farm tools in Tsunan, Niigata Prefecture, on Aug. 28.

TSUNAN, Niigata — Professional musicians performed using instruments made from farm tools at Tsunan Secondary School in Tsunan, Niigata Prefecture, on Aug. 27 and 28.

The performance was a special event as part of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field 2022, held in the towns of Tsunan and Tokamachi. About 400 people listened to a total of four live performances.

Makoto Oka, a jazz musician and a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture, has been making musical instruments from unused farm tools acquired with the help of students since spring. He has created a harp from a winnower which is usually used to separate husk from grains, and another musical instrument was made from wooden boards used for barrels, hoes and rice-cooking pots.

Musician friends who are active in Japan and overseas also attended the concert, playing ordinary musical instruments alongside the handmade farm-tool instruments. They performed “Amazing Grace,” as well as original tunes. The school’s female students also joined in, playing the harp.

After the performance on Aug. 28, Oka said, “We performed better than I had imagined.” A student who played the harp said with a smile, “I was nervous, but it was a good memory for me.”